Sister M. Bernarda (Maranto), CSC
Sister M. Bernarda Maranto, CSC
(September 7, 1917 - August 20, 2011)
Word has been received of the death of Sister M. Bernarda Maranto, who died at 10:55 p.m. on Saturday, August 20, 2011, in Saint Mary’s Convent, Notre Dame, Indiana.
Sister Bernarda was a vivacious, outgoing religious who delighted in bringing joy and laughter to any gathering. Her theatrical skills were known throughout the congregation, especially for her performances at assemblies, General Chapter and any impromptu entertainment. Few could match her enthusiasm and audience appeal. She could draw any group into her humorous presentations and relished the response she always received.
There was a serious side to Sister Bernarda, both in her spiritual and professional life that cannot be overlooked. Because of her bubbly and outgoing personality, she often felt the formal, quieting restraint of religious decorum and life. As she wrote in the story of her Journey, she struggled with this, “There was nothing I liked about religious life … I felt I was a misfit, but I had to keep my promise to my mother (to stay three months before I made a decision to leave).” However, grace intervened with a gift of deep peace and the realization that she was where God wanted her to be. She blossomed into a beautiful and fun-loving religious who was a blessing and joy to every religious house where she lived.
Professionally, Sister Bernarda gave over 60 years of service to the educational institutions of the East. Her many and varied ministries range from teaching in the primary grades, not her favorite, to junior high, which she loved because the “students were bright, fun, nutty and all mixed up,” to the professional challenge of years in the position of academic supervisor. In all of these assignments she gave her full energy and reaped the rewards of the love and gratitude of her students, their parents and her innumerable loyal friends.
It is hard not to believe that Sister Bernarda will be entertaining the saints in heaven as she entertained those privileged to know her here on earth. May she rest in peace.